Sponsors came through once again in Glen Rose, meaning that this year's first fireworks display in years will be free for everyone to attend.
The Glen Rose/Somervell Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the display on Sunday, July 3, at Wheeler Branch Reservoir. The show will begin about 9 p.m.
The reservoir will be open after 8 p.m. for free on a first come, first serve basis. Normal park fees apply prior to 8 p.m.
Because the park at the lake has limited parking, overflow parking and viewing also will be available at the Texas Ampitheatre parking lot. Its gates will be open that evening so that anyone who wants to can park and enjoy the show.
Sponsors who helped make this year's show possible are the Somervell County Water District, Luminant, First Choice Power, Quicksilver, Dr. Karen Burroughs, Dr. Paul Schmidt and The White Buffalo Gallery.
The chamber had been selling corporate and individual sponsorships to raise the $15,000 needed to put on a good show. A VIP pavilion was going to be set up for sponsors who helped the raise the money. They also were to receive parking passes, while others coming to the reservoir were going to have to pay $10 to park an additional 100 parking spots on a first come, first serve basis.
That proved to be controversial as some residents protested that their tax dollars had paid for the reservoir and park. So more sponsors stepped in to make the event free to all.
Several months ago chamber officials met with the county's Water District Board and sought permission to have the fireworks at the reservoir. Permission was granted after Illumination Fireworks from Dallas conducted a site assessment of the reservoir and made a presentation to the board.
Somervell County Commissioners also approved the fireworks display because it's being handled by professionals. The county currently has a burn ban in effect. Commissioners last week passed an order banning fireworks with sticks and fins. The sale and use of those fireworks will extend through July 5.